Man Sues Priest for Alleged Sexual Abuse

By Associated Press
February 23, 1999

Middletown, CT - A Manchester man is suing the former pastor of a Durham church for sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual exploitation that allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tracy Beach, 35, has filed suit against the Rev. Raymond Jean of Niantic, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich and the Notre Dame Church of Durham, where Jean was a pastor in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Beach claims Jean, now 68, initiated unsolicited sexual contact with him when Beach was about 9 years old, and that sexual abuse and exploitation continued regularly from 1973 until 1984.

Jean's attorney, Hugh Keefe, said he will deny the allegations.

Jean is currently on leave from the Diocese of Norwich.

The Superior Court suit was filed now because age 35 is the last year in which Beach can bring a complaint under the statute of limitations applying to the charges.

In 1993, a 34-year-old Middletown man, identified only as John Doe, sued Jean, the diocese and then-Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, alleging sexual abuse during the time he served as an altar boy in the same Durham parish.

Records on that case were sealed in January 1997.

In 1988, Jean was arrested during a crackdown on homosexual activity at a state park in Ledyard. He was charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and trespassing on park grounds after hours. He paid a fine.

A year-and-a-half later, he resigned from the Gales Ferry parish, citing a doctor's recommendation of "emotional healing and spiritual strengthening."


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